The ethics of advertising
Just finished reading an article at Timothy Butler's site (see here) and it was a weird feeling.
On one hand, I find the idea of the immorality of avoiding ads strange. I mean, I am watching TV, ads come, I flip. Instantly. That's why I like that my TV has a way to program it to cycle through selected stations. That way I can keep coming back easily, until the ads end.
On magazines and newspapers... well, if someone came and told me that flipping through the ad pages is morally wrong, I would really not give a damn.
But the weird thing is not that (or rather, the other weird thing is something else).
His argument goes like this:
TT has to make money
The way to make money is selling their intellectual property in some cases (in others, it's given for free)
Timothy says that's not ok.
The other hand says:
People who write on websites has to make money.
The way to make money is to put ads on the site.
People are avoiding the ads.
That's not ok.
Those two ideas don't seem to have much in common, but lets rethink the issue, in terms of providing intellectual preperty, be it a website or software.
Suppose TT would make Qt adware. What do you think Timothy's position on Qt would be if he could use it for anything, but the app would always show an animated ad using 30% of the screen. With sound.
That is what websites are providing. Intelectual property as adware. TT is providing intellectual preperty in two ways:
As free software
As proprietary commercial software.
Of course we know that both properties are the same code, but it is provided in two ways.
I find both delivery mechanisms vastly superior to adware, or nagware. Timothy doesn't.
So, in the same way he suggested KDE and TT to part ways, I suggest how he can avoid all his trouble with adblockers.
Timothy Butler should turn ofb.biz into a paysite. He should charge you if you want to read it.
Or, he should be upfront about it like salon.com is: see this ad, then you can read. Of course now I check salon maybe once a week.
So, the main problem would be, for that solution, that probably noone would pay to read it. Well, welcome to capitalism, Timothy.